Monday, April 12, 2010

Thanks for nothing, Marlin Firearms.

So I've been having problems with my Marlin Model 1894 .357 Magnum lever-action rifle. When working the action, sometimes the carrier allows a second shell to leave the magazine tube partially during operation, binding the action completely with a jam that cannot be corrected in the field. This is apparently known to lever-gun enthusiasts as the dreaded "Marlin jam". This jam and it's fix are described on this helpful page.

Well I called Marlin to get another carrier to replace the one that's obviously worn and damaged from the sharp edge that they at the Marlin factory left on the cam edge of the lever when they built the gun initially. It's clearly a design flaw--their fault.

Not only do they not want to send the replacement parts out at no cost, but they don't want to send them to me at all. It turns out, per the girl who my call was transferred to at Marlin, that gun parts are considered "restricted" and only available to actual federal firearms licensees(FFL)--gun dealers.

I thought that she was mistaken at first. Whole firearms or firearms receivers--the serial-numbered part--are restricted per federal law, but simple non-serial-numbered parts?

Not by law, it turns out, but by Marlin's own policy. The carrier assembly is restricted; customers can't buy one. Hammers are restricted, triggers are get the idea. If you own a Marlin rifle, you're not getting repair parts for it, at least not from Marlin. Seriously, what other gun company does asinine stuff like that?

So now I have a rifle that's down and no easy way to get the "fix-it" parts without going through a gun shop. And what makes it worse is that the failure is MARLIN'S FAULT! This is a common defect in their guns according to the lever-gun folks I've been talking to, and Marlin knows it as well as anyone. Yet they won't fix it without charging me substantially nor will they send me the parts so that I can fix it.

This stands in stark contrast to the wonderful customer service that I got from their competitor, Henry Repeating Arms Co., when I had a problem with a used Henry that I'd bought from a pawn shop. Henry took care of that problem like few other businesses would have and I sing their praises and recommend their products to this day.

Marlin...not so much. In fact, Marlin just went up on my "Do not buy from" list, right alongside Colt Firearms.

Shame on you, Marlin. And screw you, too. I will get that part, but I will not get another Marlin product.


  1. The Colt link goes right back to this blog entry.

  2. Well it did. Fixed now.

    Thanks Bob.

  3. Anonymous5:02 PM

    I will not buy a Marlin.Thanks for the heads up.

  4. You know that Remington bought Marlin recently. Perhaps this is a new policy?

    Doesn't make it any better for you though.

  5. Gonna have to hurry to not buy a Marlin -- they are in the process of shutting down since they sold to Remington. Rumor is that they will be built by and in Remington plant and will just be another branded Remington.